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Kerry FC v Finn Harps match gallery - May 24 2024

Match Report – Kerry FC v Finn Harps



Kerry FC were back at home on Friday night as they took on Finn Harps who made the long trip down to Mounthawk Park from Ballybofey. Kerry are coming into the game off the back of six defeats in a row with the latest coming last weekend in a 2-0 defeat away to Wexford FC in Ferrycarrig Park. Both goals that Kerry conceded on the night seemed harsh on the eye, but the away side had chances to get themselves back into the game. Unfortunately, it was the difference in the game and Wexford took the spoils.

The last time Kerry faced Harps in the league it was a nil-all draw in Finn Park with both sides pushing for the winner, but nothing came of any chances on the night. Subsequently, the last time they faced each other in Mounthawk Park, Finn Harps won it in the dying seconds through a late-headed winner from B.J Banda. Samuel Aladesanusi thought his goal in the eighty-sixth minute salvaged a point for the Kingdom, but Harps came away with the three points.

After such a good start to the season from Kerry FC it seems they have gone back a step again. Last season it was a defensive problem whereas this year it is the chances going forward that are costing them. They have been a lot more defensively solid this year and if the goals were there too, they could easily be in the playoff spots. On Tuesday speaking to the local media, First Team Coach James Sugrue was positive that the side is creating chances and is sure that the goals will eventually come. The Mounthawk Park faithful hoped that they would come on the evening of the game as the team goes into another double Bank Holiday game week facing Cobh Ramblers, Treaty United and UCD in the space of just one week.

First Half
Kerry FC started on the front foot, and it only took them three minutes to get the first chance of the game. Valerii Dolia did great work on the left wing to create some space to pass the ball out to Kennedy Amechi who was in space and took the shot just outside the box. His shot was on target and looked like it could go into the bottom left corner, but Harps keeper Conor Walsh did well to get down and turn it away for a corner which subsequently came to nothing.

Kerry had another similar opportunity a few minutes later with Valerii Dolia getting the shot off this time but went over the crossbar. Finn Harps had no concrete chances of their own with most of their shots on goal trickling into the hands of Antonio Tuta, the former Harps goalkeeper.

The biggest chance of the half came from a well-worked cross from Daniel Okwute that reached the head of Ryan Kelliher. Kelliher’s looping header crashed off the top of the crossbar and was kept out by the Harps defence who cleared their lines in what would have been a great time to get the opening goal with only five minutes of the first half remaining. Kennedy Amechi had a chance to put the ball into a dangerous area just moments before the final whistle of the half, but the low cross was gathered by Walsh.

Kerry FC came into the game at the right time as they started to pile the pressure on Finn Harps and all they needed to do was capitalise on that and get themselves ahead.

Second Half
Just ten minutes after the restart Kerry FC got their goal through Ryan Kelliher. The home side won a corner on the left side of the area which was swung in with pace and precision by Sean O’Connell. Ryan Kelliher made himself available with great movement in the area and headed the ball low and into the bottom right corner to give Kerry a deserving lead.

Daniel Okwute had the chance to put Kerry FC two goals ahead as his persistence allowed him to have a shot in the area thanks to a delicate free-kick into the box from Sean O’Connell. Unfortunately, Okwute had too much power on his shot as it went sailing over the crossbar. Persistence was something Daniel Okwute always shows in abundance and allowed him to get his goal two minutes after his missed opportunity due to a calamity by the Harps defence. Valerii Dolia gave a great inside pass to Sean McGrath who crossed the ball low into the six-yard box. Okwute miss kicked his shot but luckily for him, Finn Harps defender Shane McMonagle tried to clear the ball away from danger but instead hit it straight off Okwute whose block saw the ball go into the back of the net giving Kerry FC some breathing space.

Sean McGrath, who played his part in the second goal, nearly got a goal of his own as Ryan Kelliher dispossessed Shane McMonagle giving Sean McGrath a clear run in on goal. Conor Walsh made himself big as he kept the ball away from goal with a tremendous save.

Thankfully Kerry FC did not need a third goal as they went out eventual 2-0 winners. A win that will mean so much to the team, staff and supporters after a tough few losses over the last number of weeks. Kerry FC will want to build on this performance as they visit St. Coleman’s Park to play Cobh Ramblers next Friday night and hopefully kick off the Bank holiday weekend with a win.

Kerry FC Team: 1. Antonio Tuta, 15. Kevin Williams, 6. Ethan Kos, 5. Andy Spain (C), 3. Sean O’Connell, 21. Daire McCarthy, 7. Sean McGrath, 12. Kennedy Amechi, 10. Valerii Dolia, 9. Ryan Kelliher (Goal ‘55), 11. Daniel Okwute (Goal ‘63).

Subs: Aaron O’Sullivan, Samuel Aladesanusi, Graham O’Reilly, Nathan Gleeson, Steven Healy, Victor Udeze, Finn Barrett, Evison Rramani, Cian Brosnan.

Finn Harps Team: 40. Conor Walsh, 2. Jamie Watson, 6. Noe Baba, 7. Patrick Ferry, 9. Success Edugon, 11. Ryan Rainey (C), 15. Luke O’Brien, 17. Shane McMonagle, 19. Max Johnston, 20. Sean O’Donnell, 21. Stephen Doherty.

Subs: Tim-Oliver Hiemer, Darragh Coyle, Chris Lotefa, Aaron Mclaughlin, Gavin McAteer.